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Ski Lakes Online with Google Maps

In 2004, Google bought a company called Keyhole, which had access to a variety of satellite imagery. One thing lead to another and by 2005 there was Google Earth: a program that let you spin the virtual globe, zoom in, tilt, and even fly flight simulations over a digital earth colored with satellite imagery.

Around the same time, Tony Lightfoot had a great idea: start tagging ski lakes in Google Earth and publish the file. And so the many incarnations of the Google Earth KMZ Ski Lakes file were born. Over the years, Tony's found something better to do with his time at waterskibroadcasting.com - and Shelby Coke has taken over the map file maintenance role. Thanks to both of you for bringing the project this far!

Recently, the folks over at the ball of spray started asking questions about how to keep this file up to date. There are inherent challenges to updating a single static file that lives on one person's hard drive. Every time it's downloaded, you fork your own version. Save a lake to your personal version, download a new copy when it's updated, and you may have lost some lakes in the process.

So I started thinking: "you know, there is an easier way to do this, folks".

And that's brought us to the Water Ski Lakes Map Online. You'll need to use your wetJacket account to access the map - now you can save ski lakes directly through your web browser. You've got to use a log in so we don't jeopardize the integrity of the ski lakes database -- but if you don't have an account (and you're too lazy to get one) then you can just download Scoke's Google Earth file from the page.

Find water ski lakes around the world

This feature in its basic form will remain absolutely free to use. It loads a lot faster and moves a lot smoother than the full fledged Google Earth application, too.

Accessing the Online Water Ski Lakes Map still has some problems if you're using Internet Exploder 8 or lower, but it's been tested successfully in Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

I love creating tools that can help us all as skiers -- and that's what this is. I'm hoping it will help us all make new friends, and maybe get a few more ski sets in this summer.

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Change is Good. The Pro Ski Coach Network

After an October where there were very few meaningful forum posts, I made a unilateral decision to migrate our community to wetJacket. It seems I may have lost some people in the process, so an explanation is in order.

The software that ran proskicoach.com for the last few years was created primarily by myself. It grew out of the forum, and, as software tends to do, it became bloated.

The Online Water Ski League was and is a great idea. But running it through the infrastructure of the Pro Ski Coach Forum proved to be an impossible feat.

Your Ski Log has proved to be the most resilient tool I built for PSC. But when it came time to build in the ski league with the rankings board and skier profile pages, well, just think 3 dimensional spider web. It was just too hard for one programmer to do the work within the confines of the old system. It's my fault.

The back end at wetJacket is significantly more robust than PSC ever was. For me, it's an incredible load lifted from my shoulders. The site just works. I migrated 2800 user accounts and about 12,000 forum posts over to wetJacket and locked out the PSC forum. Moves like this are hard to pull off with success, but, it's the only way our network can grow. The user profiles, messaging system, and forum at wetjacket is everything that I hoped PSC could be, plus it manages Events, Groups, a Marketplace for gear trading, and gives every skier using the site a personal blog to share with others.

With a fresh start, I'm free of working with the more tedious aspects of the old Pro Ski Coach.

So today, Friday January 7, I'm proud to release The new Pro Ski Coach. It will take a day or two for changes to propogate, but by next week, you'll see what I mean.

The new Pro Ski Coach is, for me, a joy to work with. I can develop new features so much more quickly and easily than I could before. It all comes down to execution, and now I have a lot more tools at my disposal.

In addition to the community that's growing at wetJacket, now I've got the time to put the work in where it is really needed. In the ski log. In the ski league. In more instructional articles, and in new features like the Ski Lakes Map. For now, you'll need to reset your password separately at http://new.yourskilog.com to access yourskilog, but, by February you'll be able to use your wetJacket account to get to yourskilog.com

After that, it's back to waterskileague.com, which, I know needs a lot of work after last year's slow, silent death. Most of the participants in the ski league stopped posting scores - which certainly didn't help my motivation level. There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. It was hard to predict what would happen in the league during its first year. Now that 2010 is behind us, I have a year's worth of ski league data that I can work with. Organizing the scoring system for last year's ski league was difficult without data to work with up front. I didn't know how it was going to pan out, and that's my fault. I released the league too soon. But now that I'm free of all the worst parts of ProSkiCoach.com, and I have a fresh start with a new system running, I know that I can deliver in 2011.

I need your feedback. What do you want to see in 2011 that would make you more satisfied?

Thanks for your support. Call me at 781-346-9754, anytime.

-Wade Williams

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User Accounts on the Pro Ski Coach Network

Change is good. If you've had trouble logging into our website, here are some ways to solve your problems:


  1. If you had a Pro Ski Coach Account prior to November 11, 2010, then use your E-Mail Address to Reset your Password at wetJacket.

  2. You'll get an email back from wetJacket that asks you to click on a link to confirm your password reset.

  3. After clicking that link, you'll get a second email containing your temporary password.

  4. Copy the temporary password, use your email address, and Log In at wetJacket

  5. Once you're logged in at wetJacket, Change your Password at Settings -> Account Settings -> Change Password


  • If you have an active wetJacket account, use your Username or E-Mail Address and wetJacket password to log in at Pro Ski Coach.

  • Your Ski Log will be re-released later this month. In the meantime, you need a separate log in to sign in at new.yourskilog.com

  • If you signed up at Pro Ski Coach between November 11, 2010 and January 5, 2010, you'll need to Register at wetJacket to use the Pro Ski Coach site.



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